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Unit of study_

LNGS3608: Computers, Discourse, Language

Semester 2, 2021 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Language looks different when you look at a lot of it at once. This unit of study introduces you to the use of computer software to look at a lot of language at once. Do we refer to men and women equally often? What are the five most frequent words in the English language? What is the difference between pure and sheer? How does television dialogue differ from real-world dialogue? And how does a computer help us to answer these and similar questions?

Unit details and rules

Unit code LNGS3608
Academic unit Linguistics
Credit points 6
LNGS1001 and LNGS1002 and LNGS2624
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Monika Bednarek,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Research report
60% Formal exam period
Due date: 22 Nov 2021 at 17:00
2500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Presentation group assignment Corpus design and building
20% Week 06 1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Assignment Corpus analysis
20% Week 10
Due date: 20 Oct 2021 at 17:00
1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO6 LO5
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Corpus design and building: students will design and build their own corpus and present it to the class in an oral presentation. Students will also submit the corpus (a week beforehand) and the presentation slides. Each student in a group is required to fully participate in this assessment.
  • Corpus analysis: students will analyse the linguistic phenomenon of collocation in their corpus and discuss results in a report.
  • Research report: students will analyse their corpus using the techniques of frequency analysis, keywords analysis and concordance analysis. The report will discuss the results.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas. 

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

As per relevant policy

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction Lecture (2 hr)  
Week 02 Corpus design 1 Lecture (2 hr)  
Corpora and corpus design Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 03 Corpus design 2 Lecture (2 hr)  
Tagging, Sinclair's principles, A1 Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 04 Frequency I Lecture (2 hr)  
Frequency; encoding; A1 Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 05 Frequency II Lecture (2 hr)  
Lemma lists; A1 Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 06 Student presentations (assessment 1) Lecture (2 hr)  
Frequency revisited Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 07 Collocation 1 Lecture (2 hr)  
Collocation; A2 Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 08 Collocation 2 Lecture (2 hr)  
Collocation Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 09 Concordances 1 Lecture (2 hr)  
TBD Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 10 Concordances 2 Lecture (2 hr)  
Concordances Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 11 Keywords 1 Lecture (2 hr)  
Concordances Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 12 Keywords 2 Lecture (2 hr)  
A2 feedback; keywords analysis Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 13 Extension Lecture (2 hr)  
A3 (advice and prep) Tutorial (1 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.
  • Participation: You must attend both lectures and tutorials and undertake all activities associated with these classes (including online activities)
  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, assessment preparation, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction. You must engage with relevant online materials before each class as per the schedule or as per specific instructions from your lecturer or tutor.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed via Canvas. This includes the textbook and additional required readings.

  • Textbook: Baker, P. 2006. Using Corpora in Discourse Analysis. London/New York: Continuum

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate an understanding of the major corpus linguistic concepts
  • LO2. demonstrate analytical and practical competence in designing and evaluating corpora
  • LO3. demonstrate the capacity to undertake corpus linguistic analysis
  • LO4. demonstrate the ability to combine quantitative (statistical) and qualitative analysis
  • LO5. demonstrate understanding of the ethical and legal issues involved in collecting and using data from corpora
  • LO6. demonstrate an understanding of how corpus linguistic methods can be applied in related disciplines in linguistics and beyond.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

The unit has been re-designed for remote learning due to covid-19


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.